Tuesday, March 31, 2015
"I have been growing hydroponically for the last 8 years because nights are cool and summers are not very long in the Eastern Township of Quebec. Using this technique, I obtain a very decent production. I usually start my seeds in my own 3-season greenhouse and raise 60 tomato and 10 cucumbers plants in pots. This summer, I had 10 tomato variety, all size shape and colors, 2 different cucumbers, eggplants, sprouts and roman lettuce. I also appreciate the fact that I do not need to weed anything by using pots."
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
"This Dahlia was one I purchased from Vesey's. We had moved to a new home and didn't know how my dahlias would grow. I was pleasantly surprised. I love the pink of this flower it seems to glow in the bright sunshine."
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
We had lived in Victoria, BC, for many, many years, so when we moved to Shawnigan Lake (just 30-40 minutes from Victoria), I knew I would have to adjust a bit as it's quite a bit colder in the winter here. I also have this terribly bad back, and so I thought, here was an opportunity to put in a raised garden area that would be a little more back-friendly.
The little place we bought is a one-level cottage that had a big area of pea gravel in the front that was in full sun but was otherwise going to waste. "Aha, " I thought, "The perfect spot for my raised beds."
The previous year, I had bought three of Vesey's 3' X 6' raised beds in anticipation of our move and putting in the new garden. Now as I stood there and contemplated the new area for the beds, I suddenly had a Eureka moment! Why not set up the beds so that I could just move my little light-weight greenhouse over a new bed each year so that I could grow my tomatoes and peppers under cover but without the fuss of pots!!! In other words, I could practice crop rotation but still be able to plant directly in the ground. I was excited.
The one problem I faced, however, was that the 3' X 6' bed was just an inch or two too long for my greenhouse. Thus, you can see from the pictures, that I made some adjustments. With the three larger beds, I was able to convert them into four 3' X 3' beds. (Please see greenhouse.jpg). The greenhouse bed contained determinate, bush-type tomatoes and a cucumber and pepper plant. I had a bumper crop of everything and it was so easy to maintain.
One of the beds was just big enough to contain my teepee bean pole, and was underplanted with greens (kale, chard, and lettuce). (See the bean-teepee jpeg)
The two other beds I used for alternating rows of carrots and onions. Please see the two pics raised-before and raised after for the before and after shots! Again, I had bumper crops of everything. In case you are wondering about the bricks, I use those to keep my cats from digging. They're kind of like heavy duty spacers. I could've removed them once the plants grew big enough but when there are little feeder roots right under them so I left them in place to keep the soil cool.
I greatly enjoyed my little garden area for this first summer here. I would highly recommend these beds to others, and also recommend giving the rotating greenhouse idea a shot as an alternative to growing in large pots.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
"I'm on a tenth of an acre and that includes the house and the grass. The garden is tiny! My story is this: I always plant potatoes and beans together; potatoes in front, beans on a wood obelisk at the back. Generally, I plant potatoes in May and the beans in august and last year worked fine like this (second picture to immortalize the mess two happy plants can make when fully grown).
Last year was Norland Potatoes paired with Scarlet Runner Beans. This year (2014) was Golden Rush with Painted Lady. Unfortunately, the potatoes seemed to be more vigorous than the previous year - or maybe Golden Rush is just a taller variety than Norland - but by the time I came around to plant the beans, the potatoes had taken over the space and cast so much shade the beans never got a chance to climb the obelisk! I had a very small harvest there but luckily, I plant beans everywhere in the garden so my favorite staple wasn't missing from the table! As for why my Painted Lady beans are white and brown instead of the orange and black usual, I have no idea, but year after year it's like this! I don't collect my seeds, I plant yours every year and it comes out like this!"